Raffaele Calabretta                


New England Complex 
Systems Institute


Cambridge, MA - U.S.A.

Laboratory of Autonomous Robotics and Artificial Life
Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies 
National Research Council of Italy (Cnr)

Via S. Martino della Battaglia, 44 - 00185  Rome, Italy
 Tel.: ++39-06-44595 227  Fax: +39-06-44595 243
Email: raffaele.calabretta@istc.cnr.it


Welcome to my Home Page! I am a permanent researcher of the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies (former Institute of Psychology) of the Italian National Research Council in Rome. I am also an Associate Professor of Psychology of Communication (International Telematic University UNINETTUNO) and an affiliate of the New England Complex Systems Institute (Cambridge, MA). I collaborate regularly with the Stanford University Department of Communication and the Yale University Department of Psychology.

I work in a relatively new research field, which is named Artificial Life. The main goal of this kind of research is the simulation and synthesis of living systems into a computer in order to understand "life as it is" and "life as it could be" (Langton, 1989). A few years ago I started a collaboration with evolutionary biologists (Gunter Wagner, Riccardo Galbiati) and cognitive scientists (Domenico Parisi, Stefano Nolfi, Frank Keil, Andrea Di Ferdinando), and  my current interest is in simulating evolution of body and brain/mind modularity in complex organisms by means of artificial neural networks and genetic algorithms (Calabretta & Neirotti, 2015; Calabretta, Di Ferdinando, Parisi & Keil, 2008; Calabretta, 2007; Calabretta, Di Ferdinando & Parisi, 2004). (Neural networks are computational models of the brain which controls organisms' behavior; genetic algorithms are computational models of Darwinian evolution.)

My research activity also concerns the utilization of  Artificial Life simulations and software for the development of multimedia applications in the field of education (Calabretta, 1996; in Italian). For several years I had been a Professor of Educational Technologies at the University of L'Aquila Faculty of Educational Science and I collaborate with Rai Educational. Another research interest is the use of experimental narrative as educational tool: in 2006 I published a science-in-fiction novel on emotions called Il film delle emozioni (second edition, Gaffi Editore, Rome; in Italian; see Calabretta, 2010). 

My recent research interest is focused on intra-party democracy: I have developed a new intra-party deliberative and participatory decision-making mechanism, named "Doparie" (Calabretta, 2011; Klein, Spada & Calabretta, 2012; see proposal's press page, in Italian). In 2009 I started a collaboration with Paolo Spada, an expert in democratic innovations, and in 2012 with James S. Fishkin, who developed the idea of Deliberative Polling and is the Director of the Stanford University Center for Deliberative Democracy.



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